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As owners meet in New York, Stern says vote on Kings fate weeks away

Apr 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

NBA Commissioner David Stern listens at a news conference before the All Star slam dunk competition during the NBA basketball All-Star weekend in Houston Reuters

Over the next two days in Manhattan — in between expensive dinners and reports on the NBA’s efforts to get a marketing foothold in India — the owners are going to hash out the fate of the Sacramento Kings. In a lot of detail.

But they will not vote on it.

We’ve told you about that delay before, but on Wednesday NBA Commissioner David Stern said it likely will be early next month before the league votes on approving the sale of the team to a group (led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer) that want to move the team to Seattle.

“I would be charitable to say the first week in May, but it could slide a bit,” Stern said. “That’s where we are.”

The combined relocation and finance/sale committees of owners have met the last couple days in New York and will brief the other owners, but that group has not yet made a formal recommendation. That recommendation is expected to carry a lot of weight with the owners.

The owners are deciding between a deep-pocketed Seattle group with plans for a new arena, and a strong counter proposal put together by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson that has its own billionaire and its own arena plan.

If you want to see how owners are torn — and why it feels like Sacramento still has a slim lead in the process — look at what Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen told the Oregonian.

“I think it’s a tough call. Because, although I supported the Sonics staying in Seattle when they ended up leaving, I think in general, there’s some feeling that if there’s good fan support in an area and there’s good political support sufficient enough to have a state-of-the-art facility, that’s more than enough to keep a franchise in the same place. Then you can get all the parameters of who’s made the best offer, who hasn’t made the best offer, all those things. So it’s a very difficult thing. And, of course, Steve Ballmer is a very good friend of mine. I think he’d be a great owner. So I reserve my final decision.”

The owners will make their votes — either in a phone or email process — in a couple weeks.

  1. seahonky - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Just answer the question jerks. Yes or no?

    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      David Stern’s Secretary:

      “Mr. Stern, It;s the press. Have you made a decision on Sacramento yet”

      David Stern: ”

      Tell them it’ll take a couple of weeks. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to fix the Lakers vs Spurs series.”

  2. asimonetti88 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    What a joke this is. Sonics never should have left in the first place and they wouldn’t be in this position. They need to hold the vote though, because the longer they delay the vote, the more likely the subsequent legal challenges are to stretch into next season and create a HUGE mess.

  3. yousuxxors - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    yes I never understood why the sonics left … they should of moved the nets or Horner’s to OK

  4. hawks12thman - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Stern is a puke. I don’t care which way it goes just wish it was over. Sick of hearing about it.

  5. mazblast - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Of course the vote is weeks away. Either Stern hasn’t twisted enough arms yet to get the vote for the way he wants it, or he’s too busy arranging the Lakers’ “miracle” first round playoff win, or both.

  6. kylexitron - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    IMO They are discussing the possibility of expansion to appease whichever side comes up short so when they make the announcement, the ‘loser’ is still in play for a team.

    However, holding both sides hostage when a perfectly legitimate deal between the current owners and a more than adequate ownership group has already signed a deal is ridiculous.

    Where was this sort of hesitation and consideration when the Sonics were taken from Seattle? Granted the local government in Seattle was never as remotely supported as in Sac, but Stern sure seemed like he was in a rush to get them out the door. Yet here are the Kings who have been in ownership turmoil again and again, more lives than a cat, and along comes someone willing to pay 100m more for them than any franchise has sold in league history, and there is all kinds of patience?

  7. eugenesaxe - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I don’t see what the problem is. Seattle has the money (they’ve already offered to raise their buying price), their stadium plan was in place long before SAC even had an ownership group in place, and Seattle was “promised” a team long ago when the Sonics left.

  8. manchestermiracle - Apr 18, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    The word “charitable” coming from Stern’s mouth stopped me cold. The rest of his quote was a blur…

    • badintent - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      Well stated. What the difference between Stern and a used car salesman? At least you get 30 days return with the car pusher.Lemon law. With Stern, you get a wink and a nod cause Stern thinks everyone is a blind horse.

      • sasquash20 - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:40 AM

        He is the worst

  9. mogogo1 - Apr 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Can’t he just retire, already? Nobody respects him any more…and that obviously includes the owners.

  10. bnwpnw - Apr 20, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    If the rug gets pulled out from Seattle yet again, the political winds there will quickly shift from backing for an arena deal to backing for a new law to ban the NBA from Seattle for 100 years (it will be called “The Stern Amendment”). You can only screw over a populace so many times before they’re just done.

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